Watching the Sox and Yanks on ESPN is truly a special, wish-you-didn’t-have-ears kind of hell. Just a non-stop onslaught of how amazing A-Rod is and how Joe Torre’s helping NASA with their next big space project and how Jeter invented Easter Seals and how Ron Guidry’s moustache is shopping a couple projects in Hollywood. A constant river of sickening pro-New York bile that never stops flowing from the mouths of Joe Morgan and Jon Miller.
But during last night’s heartbuster of a loss, they unloaded the special sauce. After Damon was called out at first when replays showed him safe by a step, Morgan dropped this bit of goodness, which so fascinated me, I had to rewind to make sure I heard every word correctly. And here’s what he said:
“I had a talk with some of the Angels players. They’re trying to finish [the season] with the best record so that they play that deciding playoff game in Anaheim. Because things happen in Boston. Sometimes Boston gets a call here or there and they were concerned about it. I don’t think the umpires do it intentionally, but that’s the way many teams feel. Sometimes things happen in Boston and that just happened. Something just happened.”
Yep. Things are certainly happenin’ here, buddy. Fenway’s a veritable hotbed of deceit and corruption. Better that the playoff games be played somewhere other than Fenway. Because you never know when some nutty kid with a glove may reach over the wall and, oh, I don’t know, catch a ball that might then be called a home run and alter the course of an important playoff series. See, here in Boston, we get all the calls. Things aren’t going our way? Our men in the booth upstairs just give Tito the signal, and an elaborate series of nods, hints and allegations sets our master plan in motion.
Clearly, these conspiracy theorists aren’t aware of one of the single worst calls in sports history: Chuck Knoblauch’s infamous “phantom tag” of Jose Offerman during the 1999 ALCS. Hey, we didn’t stand a chance of winning any game of that series started by anyone not named “Pedro Martinez.” But that call — an incorrect call against us in Fenway during a critical postseason game — was the nail in the coffin. Want something a little more recent? How ’bout J.D. Drew being denied a home run when umps clearly misread a ball off the top of the Monster earlier this summer? Or the first base coach ringing up Youk back in August? It goes both ways, folks. At every ballpark. In every league. Every day.
In other news, I may be taking this lost series to the Yanks a bit harder than I should. If we zigged when we zagged, we could have taken all three, or at least most certainly two, and that’s the sort of stuff that eats at me until the division race is officially over. But there’s another part of me that says the postseason just wouldn’t be the same if it didn’t include a Boston-New York throwdown.
Also, Joba Chamberlain = the most punchable face in baseball. Word.